A Different Way To See Football
28 February 2018
Football is the world's largest sport, connecting people across the globe to clubs they've never seen live or heard the roar from on game day. The beautiful game has a particularly high amount of fanatics who have a passion for the game and with the FIFA World Cup gaining an estimated 3.9 billion viewers you can understand why it is held in such regard. However, how would you enjoy the game if you couldn't see or hear?
José Richard Gallego, a 36-year-old coffee maker from Columbia, suffers from Usher's syndrome - a disease that affects both hearing and vision. Gallego is an avid football fan and doesn't let anything get in the way of him enjoying his passion. On the 25th of February in 2018 Gallego was treated to a unique experience at Camp Nou, the home ground of FC Barcelona and one of the largest global football teams. Watch the video of Gallego's evening here.
Gallego is assisted by his guide and interpreter, César Daza. Daza enables Gallego to experience the match using a system of signs and a touch board that represents the playing field. Through this system, Daza translates the entire live field of play for Gallego.
After the match, FC Barcelona invited Gallego and Daza to meet with FC Barcelona's Yerry Mina and Girona's Johan Andrés Mojica. Gallego said after his evening "it' s wonderful to be able to see through César's eyes something as great as the Camp Nou, to feel the lights, the warmth of the people... And it was very special to be able to meet Yerry [Mina]".
This inclusion initiative is part of La Liga's and FC Barcelona's ongoing mission to embrace diversity and inclusion in Spain. This is not the only inclusion project undertaken in Spain, with La Liga launching La Liga Genuine in February. La Liga Genuine is a professional football league for people with intellectual disabilities and is supported by 18 La Liga clubs.